Essay about George Reynolds As A Member Of The Church Of Jesus Christ

822 Words Sep 8th, 2016 4 Pages
George Reynolds being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day wanted to test the anti-bigamy laws on the grounds that they deprived the church and its members their First Amendment rights; specifically the right to free exercise of religion. Chief Justice Waite delivered the opinion addressing six points of Reynolds argument. In examining the attitude of the Court points five and six need to be scrutinized. In reference to point “5. Should the accused have been acquitted if he married the second time because he believed it to be his religious duty?” the court held that the word religion was not defined in the Constitution and looked at the history of its meaning and freedom guaranteed by it. That several states prior to the Constitution established state-sponsored religions. In looking at the disagreement with the policy at the time the court reviewed Thomas Jefferson writings which stated: “that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order." The court decision reflects the history and Jefferson’s writing on the role of the state in religion. The court held that the state held police powers on the actions that violated moral and social standards but could not regulate the belief or opinions of a religion. In studying the history of polygamy the court held that it had always been repugnant to common law. In reference to point six “Did the…

Related Documents